A child’s treatment plan involves several therapies and approaches that when not properly coordinated can cause a prolong in your child’s needed care.
Often, parents think of service providers and professionals working with their child as separate entities that really have nothing to do with each other. Often, one agency knows nothing about the other, limiting knowledge of available services. This presents several problems.
For example, agency A and B are separately working with a diagnosed child. Agency A offers speech and occupational services, among several other things. Agency B is providing therapy and case management. Unaware that Agency A offers speech services, the parent has made her social worker at agency B aware that her child needs speech services, which agency B does not provide. The social worker at agency B has been searching for 2 months for available speech services for the child when the parent just happens to mention in passing that her child is also working with Agency A. The social worker from agency B knows that Agency A can offer the speech services. The social worker and case manager from Agency A can now collaborate and work together in treating the child. The wait of over two months could have been avoided if only proper coordination and adequate information were given from the beginning. The following are a few steps that can ensure a smooth implementation of your child’s treatment services:
Understand a Treatment Team
– A service provider is any agency that is working with your child to provide a service or care
– A treatment team is any group of individuals caring for your child’s needs and/or collaborates with each other to achieve your child’s treatment goals
– An agency may have its own treatment team who works with your child but other agencies that are also working with your child is considered a part of the larger treatment team for your child
Initiate initial or ongoing meetings with service providers
– When your child starts with a new agency, it is important to have an initial meeting regarding your child’s assessment or progress. It helps that the following team members are present:
1. The clinical managers of the new/current agency
2. Behavioral consultant (if applicable)
3. Outside therapist/counselor (if applicable)
4. County DD service coordinator (if applicable)
5. Child Protective Worker (if applicable)
● Keep everyone informed of the various services or treatments your child is receiving and who are the agencies responsible for each service or treatment. You don’t want agencies duplicating services or providing services that contradict one another
● Make sure each agency has releases/permission to communicate with one another
A child’s well-being and care is the most important concern for most parents. A parent who actively participates is one of the biggest assets in a child’s treatment. Parents are able to provide views and insights that are imperative to developing truly effective treatment. The parent is the strongest voice his/her child has, regardless of how many social workers or service providers are in the room. No parent should let their voice be silenced by lack of understanding, information or fear. Active participation and correct knowledge is the best way to overcome any barriers to your child’s smooth flowing treatment services.